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Aetna to expand Medicare supplemental insurance with $290 million purchase Posted: June 14th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Citing a need to broaden its product portfolio, Aetna has entered into an agreement that will allow it to purchase the Medicare supplemental insurance arm of Genworth Financial. If finalized, Aetna will acquire Continental Life Insurance Company and American Continental Insurance Company from Genworth Financial for $290 million.

"This important growth opportunity comes at a time when the Medicare population is anticipated to increase as 'Baby Boomers' reach age 65." said Aetna Chairman, CEO and President Mark T. Bertolini in a statement. "Medicare Supplement is expected to be a fast-growing product in the coming years as individuals seek peace of mind for out-of-pocket costs and employers look for added retiree coverages."

Medicare supplemental insurance policies are also known as Medigap plans and provide standardized benefits approved by the government. The Aetna acquisition would bring 145,000 Medigap members under the Aetna umbrella. Genworth states that policyholders will continue to have access to their full benefits after the sale is complete.

Michael D. Fraizer, Genworth chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement, "The transaction clearly benefits both parties, as it moves a sound platform to a company that is committed to the long term development of the Medicare supplement business, while allowing Genworth to focus our Retirement and Protection segment in markets where we have the strongest value propositions."